There are countless causes of negligent deaths, but the most common cause of wrongful death is automobile accidents.

Today, we are looking into why automobile accidents are the number one cause of negligent death and what to do if your loved one is a victim of this fatality.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is the result of a fatality caused by the recklessness or negligence of another person. This can occur in a variety of ways. A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim made against another person who can be held liable for a death. Surviving parents, spouses, or children can file a claim against the person who caused the loss.

What is the #1 Cause of Wrongful Death?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 36,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Noting this statistic, it is no surprise that the number one cause of wrongful death is automobile accidents. These types of calamities can involve vehicles or pedestrians and can occur due to many factors, including:

  • Drunk or impaired driving
  • Speeding or recklessness
  • Inattentive driving
  • Poor weather
  • Auto or road defects

Although unintentional, deaths are far too common on United States roads. Practicing safe driving is imperative to reduce the fatal statistics associated with automobile accidents.

Other Examples of Wrongful Death

 The ways wrongful death can occur are innumerable. Aside from motor vehicle accidents, here are some of the most common offenders of wrongful death:

  • Aviation accidents
  • Birth injuries that lead to death
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents
  • Product liability
  • Premise liability
  • Violence
  • Drowning, boating, or other recreation accidents

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?

It varies from state to state, but generally, a wrongful death claim has to be made by an immediate relative. In Utah, the lawsuit can only be pursued by legal heirs, and only one claim can be filed in total. Utah defines legal heirs as all immediate surviving family members, including:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Stepchildren under 18

If none of these heirs exist, any other blood relative can file the lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

 The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Utah is two years after the death occurs. If the claim is against a government agency, the claim must be filed within one year instead of two. A wrongful death must be filed in a civil court. We advise consulting with a qualified attorney that understands how a wrongful death case operates specifically in Utah.

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is Here for You

Regardless of the cause of wrongful death, a lawsuit should be handled by experts who can reduce any additional pain to the surviving family.

At Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, we understand that nothing can erase the pain of losing someone you love to someone else’s negligence; however, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

We have offices in West Jordan and Utah County, Utah. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.